The media panic about teen sexting

Authored by: Amy Adele Hasinoff

The Routledge Companion to Media, Sex and Sexuality

Print publication date:  August  2017
Online publication date:  August  2017

Print ISBN: 9781138777217
eBook ISBN: 9781315168302
Adobe ISBN:


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Around one-third of teens and up to half of young adults have sent a sexual image of themselves to someone else (Drouin et al., 2013; Strassberg et al., 2013). For many people, sexting is a normal part of their intimate relationships. In surveys, people report that they sext because it is a fun, pleasurable way to engage in sexual communication with their partners, and many see it as a form of foreplay (Albury and Crawford, 2012; Burkett, 2015; McDaniel and Drouin, 2015). Since many social interactions occur online, it should be no surprise that interpersonal sexual communication has been digitised as well. Indeed, if we view sexting as a continuation of phone sex and nude Polaroids, and even as a creative form of media production (Hasinoff, 2013), it becomes clear that the problem is not, as the media panic claims, the practice of sexting itself.

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